No $ Opportunities-So Discouraged

Business By Artsygurl Updated 6 Apr 2010 , 12:39pm by tracycakes

Artsygurl Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 5:09am
post #1 of 8

I'm a creative person and have been decorating cakes for a while now. I left college to start a cake decorating business two years ago only to find that there is practically no opportunities for any kind of a decent income potential. NO ONE wants to pay above the price of a grocery store sheet cake.

I checked around to see what other "private" decorators are charging...so get this...their prices are almost EXACTLY THE SAME AS LOCAL GROCERY STORES! I have no clue how they're making enough money to stay in business. I can barely buy the ingredients to cover what they're charging. And this is all privately owned businesses (out of home and small shops).

In my area, grocery store prices for sheet cakes run about $14-$40 depending on the size. The private decorators are charging the same (VERY LOW) prices!

So I guess my rant is that there is no potential for income to make this kind of a business worthwhile for me. I'm soo upset over this. I'm thinking that wedding cakes are the only avenue are where there might be any money.

Does anyone else have this problem in their area or have any advice? I don't know how I can compete with the private decorators who are charging so little (and one of the decorators is VERY good at what she does!). I guess I'm just not in the right area for this business. thumbsdown.gificon_sad.gif

Sorry for the long rant, but I just needed to vent to people who know where I'm coming from...

Thanks icon_smile.gif

7 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 6:47am
post #2 of 8

I think you might do well making cakes that they can't get at the grocery store. People aren't going to pay more than grocery store prices for a sheet cake with a message and a few buttercream roses on it...why would they, when they can get that at the grocery store? But if that's what everyone is making and you start making things that are more like the cakes they see on TV, you'll have your own market and be able to charge more than the grocery store.

mamawrobin Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 7:59am
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

I think you might do well making cakes that they can't get at the grocery store. People aren't going to pay more than grocery store prices for a sheet cake with a message and a few buttercream roses on it...why would they, when they can get that at the grocery store? But if that's what everyone is making and you start making things that are more like the cakes they see on TV, you'll have your own market and be able to charge more than the grocery store.




Couldn't have said it better thumbs_up.gif

Nacnacweazel Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 8:02am
post #4 of 8

Texas_Rose is right on the money (no pun intended). I was going through the same thing that you are. I was thinking that this was just another dead end for me. Until I started getting requests from people to give them the cakes that they see on TV and just can't get from anywhere else. I am just starting out...and I mean JUST STARTING OUT. I have never done this before. I was a gymnast and a USA Gymnastics professional coach for nearly my entire life, until my body just couldn't keep up any more. I can't get a job anywhere else because, well, my entire resume says "gymnastics coach." So, I LOVE baking and decorating and getting to be creative and I figured why the heck not try it. The first person to ask me for a cake told me what they wanted and I came up with a price that even I thought was way out of the ballpark. They paid it...because it was something they couldn't get anywhere else. I'm working on my next cake right now that has been ordered by a chef! Yes, a chef! Even though she is in the industry, she cannot get what she wants from any other place. Trust me, YOUR market is out there. You just have to put your wares out for people to see. It may take time, but customers will know exactly who to go to to get what they want. Supply and demand, my dear. You supply a unique product, and people will pay for it because that is what they want. Have faith! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

Bel_Anne Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 11:05am
post #5 of 8

I feel your plight, Artsygurl. People in my area (but I'm in Australia) just won't pay any where near what I'm quoting for a birthday or other cake. Wedding's are really the only place that they'll fork over the money. So I've decided to turn my business into JUST wedding cakes. Which I've noticed a lot of people in this industry do. I hear stories of other decorators charing no less than 200 for a kids birthday cake... and sure there'd be people out there who would pay it. Realistically, how many? Not enough to make any sort of decent money or sustainable income. I think advertise your wedding side.... and IF someone wants a cake for any other sort of occasion and you can fit it in, then do so. icon_smile.gif Sooooo many people have told me that you'll find the customers - don't lower your prices - there are people who appreciate your quality of cakes, but in some places (and I live in a middle class area), I just don't find that to be the case!

neelycharmed Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 11:38am
post #6 of 8

I totally understand,
same thing here - one lady charges not nearly enough, so it makes me look like I am trying to rip people off. I do like to have my bills paid just like anbody else... icon_confused.gif not asking for much...
BUT I have old faithful customers who keep coming back for years, and I don't feel bad anymore if I lost someone because they wanted a cheaper cake because I know that my quality of work is better then what she can offer.
Hope it all works out for you, and like the others said- if you offer something they can't get at a grocery store then they will pay the extra$$$

keonicakes Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 12:14pm
post #7 of 8

I agree, if people want a grocery store cake, with grocery store prices, they can go to the grocery store. You need to market yourself showing that what you do is not even remotely close to grocery store "stuff". What you do is not something available there. Only you can do what they can't and you will start getting business. There is a reason you charge more and people will pay it. Be patient. "Make it, and they will come".

tracycakes Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 12:39pm
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by keonicakes

I agree, if people want a grocery store cake, with grocery store prices, they can go to the grocery store. You need to market yourself showing that what you do is not even remotely close to grocery store "stuff". What you do is not something available there. Only you can do what they can't and you will start getting business. There is a reason you charge more and people will pay it. Be patient. "Make it, and they will come".




ditto! I want my business to grow to the point that I no longer do sheet cakes but even when I do them, I try to make them something special, not a typical sheet cake. My ads have special cakes, bigger cakes, something you won't get at a grocery store, even my sheet cakes.

My business is growing and most of my real calls (those not looking for grocery store cakes) come from those that have seen an ad and go to my website. Once they taste my cake, they become my customer, even repeat customers in the short time I've had my business. thumbs_up.gif

Don't drop your prices, offer them something better. Also, look at marketing to upscale clientele. They are the ones most likely to have huge parties and such.

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